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Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s 2018 Report Card

Senior Senator from Maryland
Democrat
Serving Jan 4, 2007 – Jan 3, 2025


These statistics cover Cardin’s record during the 115th Congress (Jan 3, 2017-Jan 3, 2019) and compare him to other senators also serving at the end of the session. Last updated on Jan 20, 2019.

A higher or lower number below doesn’t necessarily make this legislator any better or worse, or more or less effective, than other Members of Congress. We present these statistics for you to understand the quantitative aspects of Cardin’s legislative career and make your own judgements based on what activities you think are important.

Keep in mind that there are many important aspects of being a legislator besides what can be measured, such as constituent services and performing oversight of the executive branch, which aren’t reflected here.

 

Got the most cosponsors on their bills compared to All Senators

Cardin’s bills and resolutions had 905 cosponsors in the 115th Congress. Securing cosponsors is an important part of getting support for a bill, although having more cosponsors does not always mean a bill will get a vote. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (98th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (99th percentile).


 

Wrote the most laws compared to Senate Democrats

Cardin introduced 10 bills that became law, including via incorporation into other measures, in the 115th Congress. Keep in mind that it takes a law to repeal a law. Very few bills ever become law. View Enacted Bills »

Those bills were: S. 832: AGOA and MCA Modernization Act; S. 1158: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities ...; S. 1221: Countering Russian Influence in Europe ...; S. 1645: Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School Study ...; S. 1646: President Street Station Study Act; S. 2725: A bill to designate the ...; S. 2893: A bill to provide for ...; S. 3383: Rural DOCS Act; S. 3384: Medicaid Health HOME Act; S. 3562: Small Business Runway Extension Act ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (93rd percentile).

The legislator must be the primary sponsor of the bill or joint resolution that was enacted or the primary sponsor of a bill or joint resolution for which at least about one third of its text was incorporated into another bill or joint resolution that was enacted as law, as determined by an automated analysis. While a legislator may lay claim to authoring other bills that became law, these cases are difficult for us to track quantitatively. We also exclude bills where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill.


 

Got their bills out of committee the most often compared to Senate Democrats

Most bills and resolutions languish in committee without any action. Cardin introduced 30 bills in the 115th Congress that got past committee and to the floor for consideration.

Those bills were: S. 690: HUBZone Investment Protection Act; S. 832: AGOA and MCA Modernization Act; S. 861: Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act ...; S. 905: Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act ...; S. 1158: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities ...; S. 1221: Countering Russian Influence in Europe ...; S. 1537: Migratory Birds of the Americas ...; S. 1645: Thurgood Marshall’s Elementary School Study ...; S. 1646: President Street Station Study Act; S. 2274: Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act ...; S. 2527: Small Business Investment Opportunity Act ...; S. 2725: A bill to designate the ...; S. 2893: A bill to provide for ...; S. 3383: Rural DOCS Act; S. 3384: Medicaid Health HOME Act; S. 3562: Small Business Runway Extension Act ...; S.Res. 35: A resolution expressing profound concern ...; S.Res. 82: A resolution congratulating the Johns ...; S.Res. 116: A resolution condemning the Assad ...; S.Res. 128: A resolution designating April 2017 ...; S.Res. 168: A resolution supporting respect for ...; S.Res. 258: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 293: A resolution commemorating the 150th ...; S.Res. 300: A resolution recognizing the 150th ...; S.Res. 529: A resolution promoting minority health ...; S.Res. 567: A resolution celebrating the 40th ...; S.Res. 575: A resolution honoring the memory ...; S.Res. 625: A resolution designating the week ...; S.Res. 684: A resolution relative to the ...; S.Res. 743: A resolution congratulating the International ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (89th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Ranked the top leader compared to Senate Democrats

Our unique leadership analysis looks at who is cosponsoring whose bills. A higher score shows a greater ability to get cosponsors on bills.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 115th Congress is considered, the leadership score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got influential cosponsors the 2nd most often compared to All Senators

26 of Cardin’s bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress had a cosponsor who was a chair or ranking member of a committee that the bill was referred to. Getting support from committee leaders on relevant committees is a crucial step in moving legislation forward.

Those bills were: S. 27: A bill to establish an ...; S. 94: Counteracting Russian Hostilities Act of ...; S. 411: ERRPA; S. 690: HUBZone Investment Protection Act; S. 720: Israel Anti-Boycott Act; S. 905: Syrian War Crimes Accountability Act ...; S. 1018: Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense ...; S. 1158: Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities ...; S. 1420: LOVE Act of 2017; S. 1430: Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails ...; S. 1513: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ...; S. 1537: Migratory Birds of the Americas ...; S. 2527: Small Business Investment Opportunity Act ...; S. 3470: Mongolia Third Neighbor Trade Act; S. 3572: ESIA; S.Res. 35: A resolution expressing profound concern ...; S.Res. 108: A resolution reaffirming the commitment ...; S.Res. 116: A resolution condemning the Assad ...; S.Res. 155: A resolution expressing the sense ...; S.Res. 168: A resolution supporting respect for ...; S.Res. 200: A resolution welcoming the President ...; S.Res. 217: A resolution welcoming Prime Minister ...; S.Res. 402: A resolution calling upon the ...; S.Con.Res. 4: A concurrent resolution clarifying any ...; S.Con.Res. 8: A concurrent resolution clarifying any ...; S.J.Res. 5: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (96th percentile); Senate Democrats (98th percentile); All Senators (98th percentile).


 

Introduced the 2nd most bills compared to Senate Democrats

Cardin introduced 87 bills and resolutions in the 115th Congress. View Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (91st percentile); Senate Democrats (96th percentile); All Senators (95th percentile).


 

Got bipartisan cosponsors on the 3rd most bills compared to Senate Democrats

In this era of partisanship, it is important to see Members of Congress working across the aisle. 50 of Cardin’s 87 bills and resolutions had a cosponsor from a different political party than the party Cardin caucused with in the 115th Congress.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (87th percentile); Senate Democrats (94th percentile); All Senators (92nd percentile).


 

Supported government transparency the 4th least often compared to Senate Democrats (tied with 3 others)

GovTrack looked at whether Cardin supported any of 14 government transparency, accountability, and effectiveness bills in the Senate that we identified in this session. We gave Cardin 2 points, based on one point for cosponsoring and three points for sponsoring any of these bills.

Cardin cosponsored S. 210: Global Health, Empowerment and Rights ...; S. 298: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (37th percentile); Senate Democrats (6th percentile); All Senators (42nd percentile).


 

Held the 6th most committee positions compared to All Senators (tied with 5 others)

Cardin held a leadership position on 1 committee and 2 subcommittees, as either a chair (majority party) or ranking member (minority party), at the end of the session. For comparison to other Members of Congress, we assigned a score giving five points for each full committee leadership position and one point for each subcommittee leadership position. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (83rd percentile); Senate Democrats (89th percentile); All Senators (89th percentile).


 

Ranked 25th most liberal compared to All Senators

Our unique ideology analysis assigns a score to Members of Congress according to their legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other Members of Congress.

For more, see our methodology. Note that because on this page only legislative activity in the 115th Congress is considered, the ideology score here may differ from Cardin’s score elsewhere on GovTrack.

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (26th percentile); Senate Democrats (49th percentile); All Senators (24th percentile).


 

Working with the House

The House and Senate often work on the same issue simultaneously by introducing companion bills in each chamber. 11 of Cardin’s bills and resolutions had a companion bill in the House. Working with a sponsor in the other chamber makes a bill more likely to be passed by both the House and Senate.

Those bills were: S. 720: Israel Anti-Boycott Act; S. 852: Retirement Security Preservation Act of ...; S. 977: Medicare Home Health Flexibility Act ...; S. 1537: Migratory Birds of the Americas ...; S. 2596: FSA Fairness Act of 2018; S. 2855: Witness Security and Protection Grant ...; S. 3562: Small Business Runway Extension Act ...; S.Res. 50: A resolution reaffirming a strong ...; S.Res. 402: A resolution calling upon the ...; S.Con.Res. 4: A concurrent resolution clarifying any ...; S.J.Res. 5: A joint resolution removing the ...

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (43rd percentile); Senate Democrats (36th percentile); All Senators (44th percentile).

Companion bills are those that are identified as “identical” by Congress’s Congressional Research Service.


 

Bills Cosponsored

Cardin cosponsored 374 bills and resolutions introduced by other Members of Congress. Cosponsorship shows a willingness to work with others to advance policy goals. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (72nd percentile); Senate Democrats (47th percentile); All Senators (73rd percentile).


 

Joining Bipartisan Bills

Of the 374 bills that Cardin cosponsored, 32% were introduced by a legislator who was not a Democrat. View Cosponsored Bills »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (60th percentile); Senate Democrats (60th percentile); All Senators (68th percentile).

Only Democratic and Republican Members of Congress who cosponsored more than 10 bills and resolutions are included in this statistic.


 

Missed Votes

Cardin missed 0.8% of votes (5 of 599 votes) in the 115th Congress. View Cardin’s Profile »

Compare to all Serving 10+ Years (39th percentile); All Senators (39th percentile).


Additional Notes

The Speaker’s Votes: Missed votes are not computed for the Speaker of the House. According to current House rules, the Speaker of the House is not required to vote in “ordinary legislative proceedings.” In practice this means the Speaker of the House rarely votes but is not considered absent.

Leadership/Ideology: The leadership and ideology scores are not displayed for Members of Congress who introduced fewer than 10 bills, or, for ideology, for Members of Congress that have a low leadership score, as there is usually not enough data in these cases to compute reliable leadership and ideology statistics.

Missing Bills: We exclude bills from some statistics where the sponsor’s original intent is not in the final bill because the bill’s text was replaced in whole with unrelated provisions (i.e. it became a vehicle for passage of unrelated provisions).

Ranking Members (RkMembs): The chair of a committee is always selected from the political party that holds the most seats in the chamber, called the “majority party”. The “ranking member” (sometimes “RkMembs”) is the title given to the senior-most member of the committee not in the majority party.

Freshmen/Sophomores: Freshmen and sophomores are Members of Congress whose first term (in the same chamber at the end of the 115th Congress) was the 115th Congress (freshmen) or 114th (sophomores). Members of Congress who took office within the last few months of a Congress are considered freshmen in the next Congress as well.